dispense

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See also: dispensé

English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Middle English, from Old French dispenser, from Latin dispēnsāre (to weigh out, pay out, distribute, regulate, manage, control, dispense), frequentative of dispendere (to weigh out), from dis- (apart) + pendere (to weigh).

Pronunciation

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Verb

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dispense (third-person singular simple present dispenses, present participle dispensing, simple past and past participle dispensed)

  1. To issue, distribute, or give out.
  2. To apply, as laws to particular cases; to administer; to execute; to manage; to direct.
    to dispense justice
    • 1662, John Dryden, To the Lord Chancellor Hyde:
      While you dispense the laws, and guide the state.
  3. To supply or make up a medicine or prescription.
    The pharmacist dispensed my tablets.
    An optician can dispense spectacles.
  4. (particularly in canon law) To give a dispensation to (someone); to excuse.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 34, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC:
      After his victories, he often gave them the reines to all licenciousnesse, for a while dispencing them from all rules of military discipline [].
    • 1643, John Milton, Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce:
      Of evils the first and greatest is, that hereby a most absurd and rash imputation is fixt upon God and his holy Laws, of conniving and dispensing with open and common adultery among his chosen people; a thing which the rankest politician would think it shame and disworship, that his Laws should countenance; how and in what manner this comes to passe, I shall reserve, till the course of method brings on the unfolding of many Scriptures.
    • 1779–81, Samuel Johnson, "Richard Savage" in Lives of the Most Eminent English Poet
      He appeared to think himself born to be supported by others, and dispensed from all necessity of providing for himself.
    • 1849–1861, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 11, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volumes (please specify |volume=I to V), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC:
      It was resolved that all members of the House who held commissions, should be dispensed from parliamentary attendance.
    Every spring, the passive aggressive archbishop suffered from a brief flu that dispensed him from needing to provide Easter service to the king.
    She was dispensed from her vows and married Captain von Trapp.
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To compensate; to make up; to make amends.

Derived terms

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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun

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dispense (countable and uncountable, plural dispenses)

  1. (obsolete) Cost, expenditure.
  2. (obsolete) The act of dispensing, dispensation.

Derived terms

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Translations

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Further reading

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Anagrams

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French

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Etymology

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Deverbal from dispenser.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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dispense f (plural dispenses)

  1. dispensation

Verb

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dispense

  1. inflection of dispenser:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further reading

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Anagrams

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Italian

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Noun

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dispense f

  1. plural of dispensa

Verb

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dispense

  1. third-person singular past historic of dispegnere

Anagrams

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Portuguese

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Verb

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dispense

  1. inflection of dispensar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Spanish

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Verb

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dispense

  1. inflection of dispensar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative